By Jeff Yong
In my Wangsa Maju (Section 6) neighbourhood, we always have peace of mind as far as rubbish collection is concerned.
Residents know the schedule by heart: Wednesdays and Saturdays are for perishable household refuse and Fridays for big-ticket items like storage boxes, cardboards and other stuff.
And for umpteen years, Alam Flora, the company engaged by DBKL to undertake the collection, has never failed us. Its workers take their responsibility seriously. I salute them.
I cite you one recent admirable example by Alam Flora: after some of my old, out-of-use furniture like a writing table, a dining table and a rattan shelf were turned into a living haven by a family of three rodents, I decided that enough was enough. Despite the sentimental value attached to these time-tested possessions, I felt that health has to take precedence as these rats had “thrashed” them with their excrement and whatnots.
So, I discarded the retired furniture to outside my house onto the kerbside next to the rubbish bin gifted by DBKL for proper refuse storage. I also decided to eject some chairs and other stuff I originally thought I could still restore to their former glory (again for sentimental reasons).
The result? A rather unsightly picture of discarded larg-sized items on the kerbside. But I kept my fingers crossed and told myself that Alam Flora was going to clear them the next day, being a Friday.
Sure enough they were cleared without fuss just after sunrise! I didn’t even realise that Alam Flora’s truck had arrived for its weekly undertaking. Its workers went about their jobs quietly and efficiently. Thank you Alam Flora – your employees were amazing!
But I can’t say the same for another company that does the same business in a high-end gated community in Semenyih. An owner of a corner terrace house there is always at his wit’s end on how to clear his garden refuse without angst.
This person mows his lawn about once in three months. Sometimes he’d have dried leaves or twigs to throw. So, he packs them into large plastic bags and places them neatly into the giant plastic bin outside his gate.
But he has often experienced bewildering situations where the bags inside the garbage bin are subsequently removed and placed outside instead! Given that he doesn’t always stay there, he rarely gets a chance to confront the refuse collection workers and ask them why.
Once he managed to spot the workers of the refuse collecting company that had refused (students of English, please note the choice of words!) to clear the plastic bags and asked them why.
He got a stupefying answer when they claimed that the stuff that he had thrown away were not household rubbish like milk cans, rotten vegetables or meat, discarded paper or plastic boxes from fast-food or slow-food restaurants!
In insisting that they’d only remove smelly household rubbish, they also had the audacity to say that the garden refuse was the responsibility of the cleaning gangs employed by the Joint Management Body (JMB).
But then again, the cleaning gangs also have a different story to tell: they said they had ignored the garden refuse because it was from a private dwelling and their job was to clear the leafy and grassy stuff on public roads!
So, the owner was faced with two choices: to call the admin staff of the JMB politely every now and then to ask them how in the world he’d remove his garden refuse or blow his top as he did recently.
Somehow, blowing his top had gotten things done without fuss after he gave the refuse collection company’s workers a piece of his mind. They finally relented.
But he still has to go through the ordeal of observing the “wait and see” or “cat and mouse” game being played out between the refuse collection company workers and the cleaning gangs!
Back to Wangsa Maju (Section 6): some interesting incidents had gotten some people hot under their collars. They claim that some fellow residents don’t really know how to appreciate the almost pristine environment there.
These residents, it is alleged, had been behaving stealthily by throwing storage boxes and other rubbish onto the public kerbside away from their houses when no one is looking. Stealth, as you may know, is an attribute associated with submarines, reconnaissance aircraft or thieves!
And one even discards such items from his expensive German SUV! They appear to ignore or are not in the know of the Friday Alam Flora schedule when large-sized items are efficiently cleared away. Well, it takes all kinds to be in this world.